By: Bongani Dlamini
South Africa secured their first win at the T20 World Cup with a convincing 8 wickets victory against West Indies at the Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday.
On a day when the Proteas were clinical with the bat, the win was overshadowed by Quinton de Kock’s absence who took a personal decision to withdraw from the match for refusing to take a knee.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) issued a directive on Tuesday that the entire team should take a knee against racism for the remainder of the tournament.
De Kock did not take kindly to the directive from CSA and captain Temba Bavuma said they were taken aback by the 28-year old’s decision.
“Obviously as a team we’re obviously surprised and taken aback by the news. Obviously Quinton is a big player for the team, not just with the bat, but the role he plays from a senior point of view and from an experience point of view, and not having that at my disposal as a captain was obviously something I wasn’t looking forward to.
“In saying that, Quinton is an adult. He’s a man in his own shoes. We respect his decision. We respect his convictions. I know that he’ll be standing behind whatever decision that he’s taken.
“From the team’s point of view, unfortunately we still have to get the job done. There was still a game of cricket there for our country, and it was important, as much as everything was happening, that we found a way to get into the right mental space and take it home for our country.”
On the pitch, the Proteas produced an improved performance and kept their hopes alive for booking a spot in the semi-finals and Bavuma was happy that things went according to plan.
“The plan was to come in here to win, to get our campaign started. After the first game we knew that there were areas that we had to improve within our game, more particularly with the bat, and to go out there and be clinical with the bat, that’s, I guess, a good step in the right direction,” said Bavuma.
The Proteas will return to action on Saturday, 30 October at 12:00 when they take on Sri Lanka.